SEO or Search engine optimization refers to the actions you can take to help your digital content and website rank higher on search engines. It is often a marketeer’s primary weapon and crucial to a corporation’s success. After everything, it does not matter how good your services or products are if clients can not find you online.
For businesses looking to expand into new markets, localization SEO is just as important. If you are investing in translating digital content or website localization, you want to ensure you are doing so in a way that performs well in searches in the targeted market.
Why Is SEO Localization Strategy Important?
When starting in new markets where your products and service are not yet well known, it is critical to do everything possible to grow your visibility. And while localizing the website gives local consumers a more native, comfortable user experience, very few new consumers will find your website if your content is not surfaced via their web searches.
A localization strategy can boost your visibility in new markets by making sure your content includes the critical search phrases searchers use in the region you are targeting.
One common approach is to simply translate all of our websites and web content. This approach works but only to a certain extent. Direct word-to-word translation might not consider the searching habits of the native people of a particular area. Countries where the native language does not use the Latin script, like Hindi in India, may use romanization instead of typing in their original script. So it is extremely important that an SEO localization strategy is in place.
Steps for Forming Localization SEO Strategy
The traditional way of getting the proper keywords in translated content used to be:
1: Completely translate the website;
2: do keyword research;
3: Add keywords to the translated content.
But, there is a problem – this is the most intricate and expensive method of SEO localization. I am going to present a totally different but straightforward approach to get the correct keywords into your localized content.
Target Local Keywords
Search Engines continue to upgrade their software algorithms to deliver better search results. Google’s new AI better comprehends content and analyzes the meaning behind different keywords to provide accurate results. As long as individuals use keywords to search for your services or products online, they remain a vital component of SEO. Nevertheless, keywords differ from country to country. For instance, Canadians search for ‘car rental,’ while English for ‘car hire.’ To do this, you need to hire SEO experts that are based in the locality you want to target, as they have a better knowledge of the market and the local keywords. The simple translation may cause you to lose business.
Moreover, people do not use perfect grammar and sentence structures. Context also matters, this is why you need professionals to handle the translations.
Using Hreflang Tags
It would be best if you showed search engines like google how your web pages in multiple languages are connected. To do this, you have to use Hreflang Tags. If you have content in Italian and English, you will set the hreflang for the English page to “en,” while the value for the Italian page would be “it.” This will tell the search engine to list the “it” page in Italy and the “en” page in English-speaking areas. Another valuable feature of Hreflang tags is that they let you mark your content for specific countries, like US and Canada. But still with you have to add language markers. For instance, Portuguese is spoken in both Portugal and Brazil, so for Portugal, you would use “pr-pr” and “br-pr” for Brazil.
Without using the proper Hreflang tags, you can not reach the targeted audience, and all your effort would be in vain. So Hreflang tags should be used in the localization strategy.
Optimizing Website Speed for Localized Pages
Google recommends that a website should load within 3 seconds of a click. This is supported by research, which shows that 47% of users lose interest if the website does not load within 2 seconds. So significant effort should be made to make the website as quick as possible.
Optimizing the website speed is a multivariate problem as it depends on a plethora of components, like the site’s programming, the web host, ads, and plugins. Another issue is that internet service providers (ISPs) provide different speeds in different regions. So you should consider building a simplified version of the website in areas where the internet speed is substantially slower.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a tool that gives vital suggestions on how to optimize loading speed and improve the user experience. Another helpful trick is to use browser caching, which leads to snappy loading.
After optimizing the website, you need to add backlinks for the new targeted audience. For your localization campaign, you need to add backlinks for every geographical area that you target. To rank higher in searches, you ought to add backlinks from local websites. Good content automatically brings backlinks, but you should not wait for the local websites to mention you. So you should maintain a physical presence in the locality that you want to target. This will aid you in developing trust and becoming more popular with the local audience.
The domain name and structure play an essential part in the popularity of your website. Usually, localized websites are of the following types:
- Top-level domains: You have to produce a new website for each country you are working in. The domain name ends with the initials of the country. For example, if the URL is samplewebsite.com in your home country, it may be samplewebsite. uk in UK and samplewebsite.ca in Canada.
- Sub-domains: You have the same website, but it is segmented into content for different regions. Continuing the previous example, the URLs will now become uk.samplewebsite.com and ca.samplewebsite.com for UK and Canada, respectively. This tells the search engines that each segment is meant for a different audience.
- Subfolders: Here, multiple folders are created, and each folder contains content for a specific region. In this case, the following URLs are used: samplewebsite.com/uk; and samplewebsite.com/ca. Such websites are easy to develop and maintain. Your original ranking and backlinks also come in handy this way.
.Major companies like BMW, Tesla, and Intel use top-level domains. While smaller up-and-coming businesses use subfolders and subdomains. But this does not mean that one is better than the other. It all depends on how good your SEO campaign is.
SEO localization must blend into a concrete SEO strategy. Localizing your website will not bring in the results you are looking for unless you manage to rank the translated pages higher. Localization engineers can assist you in identifying and solving all technical problems related to local SEO. This helps you to improve your online existence in local markets. If carried out perfectly, SEO localization can intensify your SEO, increase traffic to your website, and ultimately grow your sales.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 parts of SEO?
An SEO campaign can be divided into three main steps:
1: On-site optimization
2: Writing of quality content
3: Website Authority building
What is SEO translation?
For companies that provide services in multiple countries, the content must be translated into the local language, and this is called SEO translation.
What is localized content?
It is the production of content with a specific target audience in mind.
What is Multilingual SEO?
The process of optimizing the creative content on your site for multiple languages.